National Assembly’s Action Program

[The Action Program below was provisionally adopted by the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations (as it has been renamed) held June 29-29, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio, subject to consideration being given by the 13-member Administrative Body (AB) elected at the conference of amendments not acted upon by the conference. The AB’s responsibility was to incorporate into the text of the Program those amendments it deemed appropriate and pertinent. The AB finalized the text of the “Actions” part of the Action Program on July 13, 2008.The “Motivation” part of the Action Program will be finalized and posted separately.]

National Assembly Action Program

1) The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations urges attendees at this conference to support and mobilize as many people a possible to participate in the September 1 Antiwar March on the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota that will demand “U.S. Out of Iraq Now!” The demonstration is organized by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War and is supported by over 100 organizations including ANSWER, UFPJ and TONC, the national antiwar coalitions. Much pressure has been put on the planned march by the city of St. Paul, which has resisted granting a parade permit. This important fight to defend constitutional rights needs the support of all the people and groups participating in the National Assembly. The National Assembly likewise calls on participants to mobilize equally with the same “Out Now!” demand for the demonstration in Denver at the Democratic Party National Convention on August 24.

2) The National Assembly welcomes initiatives taken by local and regional antiwar groups to organize antiwar demonstrations in the months ahead, leading up to the November 4 election, calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Assembly will encourage participation in such actions, including protests called by coalitions in Boston, Rhode Island and other areas on Saturday, October 11. In light of the escalation of the wars and the imperative need for action and an independent voice, October 11 has been put forward because it was on this date in 2002 that the Senate passed the “Iraq War Resolution” — the House of Representatives having done the same the day before — giving the Bush administration authorization to invade Iraq.

3) The National Assembly proposes December 9-14 as a period for organizing coordinated and united local protests in cities across the nation to demand of whichever administration comes to power nothing less than the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops and contractors from Iraq and Afghanistan and the closing of all military bases in these countries.

4) The above mobilizations should be viewed as springboards for building massive, united, independent and bi-coastal spring 2009 demonstrations against the wars and occupations. These should be organized, called, and sponsored by the movement’s major forces as well as new forces that can be brought into the struggle. Assuming that the site of the demonstration on the East Coast is Washington D.C., the National Assembly supports organizing a mass lobby day when Congress is in session to coincide with the spring mobilization. Every effort should be made to make these demonstrations international in scope. We must aim at achieving a new level of unity and commitment capable of closing the gap between the present antiwar forces engaged in our common movement and those which also oppose the wars but have not yet understood the necessity of directly and actively dedicating themselves to the fight to end them.

5) In the event of a U.S. government attack on Iran or another major international crisis triggered by U.S. military action, the National Assembly will urge an emergency convening of all the major antiwar forces to plan the most massive, united, protest actions possible. Organizations and individuals attending the National Assembly declare their unequivocal opposition to any military attack on Iran by the U.S., Israel, or any other country acting at the behest of the U.S. We likewise oppose the imposition or continuation of sanctions, whether economic or military, against Iran, as well as any other attempt by the U.S. government or any of its agencies to interfere with or otherwise attempt to influence the internal political process in Iran. Organizations and individuals attending the National Assembly are encouraged to incorporate these demands into future protests – local, regional or national – calling for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

6) The antiwar movement should integrate the issue of Palestine in the broader antiwar struggle, build solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli human right activists, and actively support the call of the Palestine Civil Society movement for boycotts, divestments and sanctions until Israel complies with international law and respects human rights.

7) The National Assembly welcomes all forms of activity calling for an end to the wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, including work with veterans and active duty members of the service, teach-ins, forums, antiwar referenda, antiwar strikes, mass meetings, civil disobedience/non-violent direct action, petitioning, lobbying, solidarity work, counter-recruitment actions, electoral activity, letter writing or any of the other multiple ways opponents of the wars and occupations protest. The Assembly values all activities that involve people and broaden the movement in protesting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and occupations, and U.S. support for the continued occupation of Palestine, and we will encourage supporters of the Assembly to help publicize such activities.

8. In order to broaden and strengthen the antiwar movement and deepen people’s commitment to end the war against Iraq, the National Assembly encourages national tours of Iraqis. These tours could feature trade unionists, women’s groups, refugees, students and others. Such groups as USLAW, Code Pink, American Friends Service Committee, and MADRE could play a key role in organizing such tours. The National Assembly will support such efforts.

9. The National Assembly also recommends that participating groups and individuals, and the movement as a whole, take up the call of the Iraq Moratorium to build locally-based antiwar activity on the Third Friday of every month. That will draw more people into active opposition to the war and expand the base for all types of antiwar protests, including large demonstrations. Similarly, we urge support for activities organized by groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and Military Families Speak Out, whose local and national actions contribute to building a unified mass movement.